AUSactive has made a submission to the Federal Budget and is asking the government to:
1. Grant employers an exemption under the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) legislation, to enable them to provide their staff with gym memberships without penalty; and
2. Allow Australians to claim an income tax deduction for bona fide active health participation and gym memberships; and
3. Partner with us and grassroots organisations to develop and implement a national public health campaign to educate Australians about the vital role of physical activity in enhancing their physical and mental well-being.
We have presented a set of strategic initiatives for inclusion in the Federal budget that closely align with, and support, the government's objectives of easing cost-of-living pressures and implementing the National Preventive Health Strategy to combat chronic diseases in Australia.
Our proposals advocate for an exemption to Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) policy that will allow all employers to provide their staff with gym memberships or active health participation without penalty. This will remove existing workplace discrimination and levels the playing field for all. Enabling Australians to claim tax deductions for genuine active health and gym memberships will incentivise individuals to invest in their health by taking up exercise programs. These changes, requiring no additional budget allocation, will not only encourage employers to champion physical activity but also support individuals to prioritise their health, resulting in a reduction in government healthcare spending on conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, depression, anxiety, dementia and mental health.
To leverage these strategies, AUSactive emphasises the necessity of a third crucial initiative: a collaborative effort with the government and grassroots organisations to launch a national public health campaign with a major focus on those who are disproportionally affected by chronic disease rates and poor mental health.
Barrie Elvish and I (Mariana), will be travelling to Canberra on 14 February to discuss these initiatives with the Federal Assistant Health Minister the Hon. Ged Kearney, the Federal Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury the Hon. Andrew Leigh and Mel Burke, Policy Advisor the Federal Health Minister, the Hon. Mark Butler.
You can read the full budget submission HERE
Written by AUSactive's dedicated Policy & Advocacy Officer, Mariana Ivantsoff.